Prep for a 6 hours MTB race

I had a century planned for June but the event was canceled. There is a 6 hour MTB event near me that looks like it will happen.

The MTB race is at the end of July, my metric century plan finishes June 13th.

What plans or blocks can help me bridge the gap from the metric century plan to a 6 hour mtb race?

What’s the course like?

Also, how much time do you want to train? Can you / do you want to do long rides on the weekends?

Finally, what do you hope to get out of the six hour? Just looking to have fun and complete it or are you looking to PR?

I’ve never been to the trail system but I don’t believe there is much elevation.

I plan to check out the trail System once it dries up.

I can train 10-12 hours a week. The 4-hour rides in
my current plan is the max I can do and keep the peace at home.

This is just for fun. I don’t expect to do well.

@mb207 The metric century should prepare you for a six hour distance but switch the outdoor rides to the trails. MTB uses the upper body a lot more and even if the course is fairly flat you will likely be up and down obstacles and need quick spurs to get around other racers. Perhaps adding in a MAP block makes sense if you have the time.


Thanks, I’ll have 6 weeks between plans. I will certainly start riding my MTB more. It has been a few years since I’ve spent any amount of time riding.

Yeah definitely agree to ride the MTB more. Also:

  1. The more of those long rides you can do, the better. If four hours is max, that’s fine, but you can try things like do the long ride and then do intervals at the end
  2. Add in some SUF strength if you haven’t already
  3. Intervals during the week to keep your fitness up
  4. Dial in your nutrition strategy and test it on those long rides—eating on the MTB is more complicated than on the road
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You can also do the gravel grinder or hilly/mountainous gran fondo plans. They are supposed to prep you for a hillier course than a century plan. Doing your long outdoor rides on your mtb on trails is also a very good suggestion.

I’ve got a 12 hour MTB race in mid-July, and I’m using the 100 mile gravel grinder plan. I’ll be doing as much time out on the trails as possible in the next couple of months, which will mean replacing some of the scheduled sessions with those outdoor workouts.

For longer MTB races like you’re talking about, time on the MTB is essential, as you need to train your upper body and all the little stabilizer muscles to be ready for six hours on the bike. Mental preparation is also important, as you need to be able to stay focused for the entire time.

I really like 6 and 12 hours races. You get plenty of time to dial in the course during the race, and the benefit of your own pit area at the end of each lap. And in most, once you’ve completed one lap, your a legit finisher, so they’re a great entry point for MTB racing.

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Thank you for all of the replies.

I incorporate strength in all my plans.

I’ve come to completed a few 8-hour races. But I haven’t ridden much in the last 5 years.

I started training again in September. So will see how it goes.


Check out the building blocks plans in the ‘special focus’ tab. The FTP or base blocks should keep you ticking over.

If you want to discuss this in more detail with our coaches, they would love to help:

Thanks for the replies.

After the weekend I took the last 2 days off. I’ll be back at it tomorrow. I put it 2:15 on Saturday and then 3 hours Sunday.

With a Sunday being mothers day I did not get to ride until after 8 pm.

I think the big ride and lack of sleep did me in. So I skipped the shovel on my schedule Monday. I’m missing my ride tonight with my wife out of town but I feel rested and ready to get back at it tomorrow.

GVA shows no mercy.


I looked at the FTP blocks.

Can I add longer rides on the weekends as long as I stick to zone 2? I will still do the interval work.

The rides seem to be on the shorter side. With a 6 hour race I’ll need some long day in the saddle even if it is just conditioning my butt.

Volcano plan :volcano::grin:

Yes, Outdoor riding will definitely be beneficial. If you go a long way over the volume, feel free to take an extra recovery day in the week.

Hi Coach Rupert - adding on an additional question - I’m going to do a 40 mile race at the end of Sept - In-Season XC or 100 Mile GG or something else?

Hey Erik, I hope the prep is going well and you’re feeling on form for your event at the end of July!
For the 40miler, I recommend the in season XC plan as the distance isn’t too bit so you should adapt fine on that as opposed the the 100mile plan.


Perfect, thank you.

Recovering this week from last weekends 12 hour race - I struggled with heat exhaustion. Will jump into week 3 of the plan next week which is a recovery week and sets me up to finish on race day.


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